People’s racist Facebook comments are ending up on billboards near their homes

1 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Racist Comments In Brazil Gets Posted Onto Billboards.

Afro-Brazilian civil rights group Criola is taking racist comments posted on Twitter or Facebook, identifying the location of the commenter, and then buying billboard space near that person’s home in order to display the comment in huge letters. Even though the names and photos of the ‘offenders’ are pixellated, the campaign hopes it will ‘educate people’ into realising the impact of online racism and hopefully discourage them from doing it again.

To drive that point home, a Brazilian civil-rights group named Criola has launched a campaign called, “Virtual racism, real consequences”, which takes racist comments from the Internet and posts them on actual billboards within the neighborhoods where the bigoted commenters reside.In a bid to put an end to racism, or at least stem its spread, in Brazil there is an anti-racism campaign going on in which racist comments that are posted online, are instead posted onto a billboard. The campaign, titled “Virtual racism, real consequences” was inspired by a recent incident in which a post on the Facebook page of news show Jornal Nacional was swamped with racist abuse targeted at black weather presenter Maria Julia Coutinho. Jurema Werneck, founder of civil rights organisation, Criola, who are backing the campaign, told the BBC: ‘Those people [who post abuse online] think they can sit in the comfort of their homes and do whatever they want on the internet.

Criola, founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, has a stated mission to “enable Afro-Brazilian women, teenagers and girls to become agents for change in the struggle against racism, sexism, and homophobia, and work for the creation of better conditions of life for the Black population in Brazilian society”. The Criola activists collect comments on Facebook or Twitter and then use geolocation tools to find out exactly where the person responsible for the comment lives. According to Brazil’s 2010 census, 7.6 per cent of Brazilians identify as Black while 43 per cent, who may have a degree of black ancestry, identify as mixed-race. According to organizer Jurema Werneck, the initiative is meant to encourage people to confront racism, speak out about racial abuse and make people think twice about posting racist comments on social media.

However, if someone like Anonymous REALLY wanted to out a bunch of racists they could just hack a digital billboard to geotag racist posts on Twitter and broadcast it to an entire highway, or just find a billboard company that accepts Bitcoin. We just want to educate people so that in future they think about the consequences before posting racist comments.” “The action is intended to show that the web is not a free territory for the display of messages of hate, racism and prejudice and that actions will have consequences for their authors.”

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